Intro by Doug Kezirian
November is a time for college football to take center stage, with various schools making final pushes to become bowl eligible and others challenging for conference titles. However, oddsmakers are most vulnerable with a sport that is just starting.
"College basketball is a bear right now. You can do a lot of reading and get yourself familiar with these teams, but the first month or so is very, very difficult," DraftKings sportsbook director Johnny Avello told ESPN, alluding to the opening week of 358 Division I schools hitting the hardwood with incoming freshmen and a record number of transfers.
Given that sportsbooks do not hire more staffing for these stretches, one would assume this additional oddsmaking volume compromises the house across the board, including with college football, but that's not the case. "It's actually not harder because the power ratings are tighter," Avello said. "At the beginning of the year, there are a lot of adjustments to be made, but when you move to this time of the year, the ratings from week to week don't move too much."
Four ranked matchups headline this weekend's card, and Avello does not anticipate one particular matchup drawing an overwhelming handle.